The custom tool watch brand updates a rugged dive watch classic.
When a watch is using a time-honored design as inspiration, the results are bound to be worthy of standing alongside the iconic original — if done right, that is. Nodding to the past and designing for the future is the purview of Mk II, the long-running tool watch brand with a flair for reinventing classics, like its newly launched Mk II Stingray II.
In this case, the Stingray II nods to the Fifty Fathoms designs first pioneered by Blancpain and its CEO as a reliable dive watch.
Better still, the Stingray II is a revamp of the third watch ever produced by the USA-designed, Japanese-made watch company, which in and of itself is something of a revamp. “Mk II” is a military designation calling out the second in a line of tools or equipment, often with upgrades and new detailing or better design touches.
So, Mk II watches have, from the beginning, improved upon their forebears, which leads us to the dependable and rugged-as-can-be Mk II Stingray II, your newest go-to timepiece for winter adventures (and beyond).
The Mk II Stingray II, as the brand wisely notes, plays off the idea that the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms in its original state was “the connection to the breaking of new ground and frontiers colliding with a watch design that was nearly perfectly conceived from the beginning.”
It’s a tall order to live up to that design ingenuity, style and rugged appeal, but the Stingray II does so handsomely.
Specifically, the Stingray II is based on a Marine Nationale 1950s design, this time built with 200 meters of water resistance and a bi-directional automatic winding movement with a 50-hour power reserve for precision on land and at sea.
Other touches are less noticeable but still important, including the resized case diameter (40 mm versus 42mm), plus a curved caseback to sit more comfortably on the wrist.
Arclite Super LumiNova add a green glow to this timepiece in low-light conditions, and the uni-directional bezel is another hard-wearing touch that makes the Stingray II a perfectly hard-wearing watch in the field and in the city.
It’s proven a fast-selling watch already, a given when you consider that the watch is a rarity in both the Mk II world and in the watch world at large — it’s priced at less than a grand ($895, to be exact) and yet nods both to an original Mk II watch and the classic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms.
That sounds to us like a timepiece you need on your wrist on the double.